the late dating of the prophet Daniel

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hermeneutika

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May 16, 2022, 2:08:31 PMMay 16
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I decided to check out the history of the Bible. Seemed like a good idea. The book i got was a book called "The history of the Bible" by a man called John Barton. The book has accolades of praise on its covers from highly respected sources. So i started to read.

I got through about 50 pages when it became obvious that this eminent Christian scholar beleives that the book of Daniel was written as late as 200BC. This is not a new thing.

Where does the rest of the panel stand on the dating of the book of the prophet Daniel?

kind regards

hermeneutika


Kendall K. Down

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May 16, 2022, 2:29:50 PMMay 16
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On 16/05/2022 09:45, hermeneutika wrote:

> I decided to check out the history of the Bible. Seemed like a good idea. The book i got was a book called "The history of the Bible" by a man called John Barton. The book has accolades of praise on its covers from highly respected sources. So i started to read.

I don't know who John Barton is and the rules of uk.r.c prevent me
expressing my opinion of him.

> I got through about 50 pages when it became obvious that this eminent Christian scholar beleives that the book of Daniel was written as late as 200BC. This is not a new thing.

One of the arguments used against an early date for Daniel is the fact
that Greek musical instruments are listed among the band in chapter 3.
That argument rather lost its force when archaeology turned up evidence
that Nebuchadnezzar had Greek mercenaries in his employ - and if you are
not certain about the loyalty of your own people, what more natural than
that you will turn up accompanied by your mercenaries and their band?

The evidence *for* an early date for Daniel is strong and compelling.
For example, the statement in chapter 4 that Babylon was built by
Nebuchadnezzar. Late authors around the time when Barton claims Daniel
was written, uniformly claim that Babylon was built by Queen Semiramis.
Today we know as fact that Nebuchadnezzar *did* build Babylon - I've
held bricks in my hands with his name written on them in cuneiform - and
we also know that Semiramis never existed (Alexander Hislop
notwithstanding.)

The story of Belshazzar is another strong evidence for an early date. By
the time of the late authors Belshazzar had been completely forgotten
and he was not rediscovered until modern archaeology turned up
inscriptions with his name and dates.

If you really want to be convinced of the early date of Daniel, read the
farago of nonsense penned by Xenophon in his "Cyropaedia" which contains
so many errors of fact that it is hard to even take it seriously as a
work of fiction! It is more fantasy, with the same claims to seriousness
as "Planet of the Apes".

That is not to say that early authorship is without problems, chief of
which is the identity of Darius the Mede. Various suggestions have been
made, but so far none carry overwhelming conviction.

The main argument for late authorship is the well-known fact that God -
if He exists - is a daft old duffer up on a cloud somewhere Who cannot
possibly foretell the future. Therefore Daniel *must* be written after
the events and dolled up as prophecy. Christians - as opposed to
theologians - have no difficulty in believing that our God can indeed
foretell the future, and so that argument falls to the ground immediately.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down


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